Source: GQ Magazine
Date: October 1, 2010

When White Collar debuted in the fall of 2009, the timing couldn’t have been better. The economy had collapsed, and behind the smoking rubble stood Bernie Madoff types whose high-life tastes fascinated and infuriated us all. The public was primed for Matt Bomer’s spot-on performance as a con artist turned FBI crime consultant, a guy whose sly charm bagged crooks (and more than 5 million viewers).

In preparation for the role, Bomer, who turns 33 this month, pored over the life of Frank Abagnale—the subject of Catch Me If You Can—and embraced the tie bars and pocket squares that made up his Rat Pack look. “I always thought of the character as somebody who cobbled his identity together out of a lot of icons,” says the Texas-born actor, who studied Cary Grant in To Catch a Thief. Paul Newman in The Sting. Even Ferris Bueller.

The show just wrapped its second season on USA, officially signifying the end of Bomer’s soap-opera obscurity and Hollywood near misses. (He was once set to play Superman in a Brett Ratner reboot of the franchise.) With the spotlight came the inevitable gossip about his private life, which Bomer shrugs off with a smart don’t-ask-don’t- tell defense. “My favorite actors are the ones who show up and do their job,” he says, sidestepping the issue. Cary Grant would approve.